PR Moment – Can PR really be defined as a profession?

PR may be full of hard-working, conscientious and professional people, but it is not a profession, at least not in the same way as law and accountancy. 

Becoming a fully-fledged profession may not be the best thing for PR, but having recognised PR qualifications surely can’t do you any harm. Especially if it can increase your pay, which it could well do. 

Personal perspective

David Alexander, managing director at agency Calacus Public Relations: “The problem PR has faced over the years, ironically, is one of its own reputation. Because of some high-profile publicists whose names and reputations have become synonymous with the industry, PR has had a bad name akin to that of estate agents. It also doesn’t help that anyone with a phone and a computer could claim to be a PR consultant.

“It’s only over the past few years that the governing bodies have grasped the nettle to give the industry greater voice and relevance both externally and internally and extol the virtues of professional training and development. And the CIPR’s Chartered Practitioner qualification has now been adapted to encourage more experienced consultants to apply. Chartered status certainly provides added kudos for clients for whom professional qualifications are a benchmark of authority.

“I do believe that more agencies, particularly the larger global agencies, need to do more to take professional qualifications including PR diplomas and CPD more seriously in order to raise the standards of the industry as a whole.”

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